Rev. Pam DeDea begins serving as our senior pastor on July 1, 2021. She comes to us from the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center (UMCSCC) where she served as an associate pastor from January 1, 2019, until June 30, 2021. She received her call to ministry later in life and comes as an experienced leader in the secular world where she worked in the commercial real estate industry. Her secular career prepared her for life in ministry with the complex people skills she learned from being a consumer, manager, consultant and leader. The complexity of these interpersonal relationships empowers and equips Pastor Pam in her pastoral care and church management skills. She brings a vast amount of life experience that allows her to relate, connect and interact with our congregation and community.
She has many years of experience in facilitating Bible Studies that focus on growing mature disciples of Christ. She is visionary in her ability to see the needs of the community and helping to develop ministries that help alleviate community needs. One vital example of meeting community needs with church ministry is the development and implementation of the Breakaway Respite Ministry at UMCSCC. Breakaway Respite provides purpose and meaning for those living with memory issues, providing memory skill activities, socialization and physical therapy to its participants, and offers the caregiver with necessary time for self-care. Another example of meeting community needs was working with community leaders to establish a neighborhood garden on church property for the Lealman community in St. Petersburg. Lealman is known as food desert community and this neighborhood garden provided fresh vegetables for the church food pantry and the whole community. This project was instrumental in building good church-community relationships. One of Pastor Pam’s favorite ministries that meets community needs is the importance of establishing strong school – church partnerships. Through this partnership the school and the church work together to provide safe space for the children in the community. This school-church connection fosters the importance of teaching our children intellectually as well as spiritually. This relationship grows through a program, designed by Coach Tony Dungy, called All Pro Dad that brings students together with their fathers once a month. Pastor Pam hopes to establish this program in our community which will lead to more partnerships with our neighborhood schools.
Pastor Pam believes growing mature disciples is the best way to revive the local church. One way she works to promote mature discipleship is by serving on the Board of Aldersgate Emmaus as the Spiritual Director and encourages her congregation especially church leaders to participate in the Walk to Emmaus. This discipleship tool helps all of us to grow in spiritual maturity and is a great tool to develop strong leaders within the church and community.
She received her Master of Divinity degree on May 15, 2021, from Asbury Theological Seminary. She worked full time and attended seminary part-time from February 2015-May 2021. She was Commissioned as Provisional Elder June 12, 2021. She received her undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC. She is married to Steve for 11 years. He is a Certified Building Contractor licensed in Florida, a Certified Lay Minister serving as Music Director at First Wauchula UMC and a county representative on the Aldersgate Board of Emmaus. Together, they are a strong ministry team working to grow God’s kingdom here on earth. They have two grown children Jennifer/Bill and Larissa/Andy, two grandchildren Nicole/Darien and Tommy/Tori, three great grandchildren Skyler, Josiah (JJ) and Noah, and three fur babies, Charles, Abbie, and Gracie.
Louise Urquhart, who retired from the church office in 2013, has been back in the office since the beginning of 2016. Louise is a Certified United Methodist Church Secretary. She has three grown children (2 sons and 1 daughter and 4 grandchildren) of which two children live in Lakeland. Louise shares her home with 3 cats and 1 dog. She is originally from Massachusetts and has been in the south since the early 70’s. Louise enjoys camping, gardening, crafts, walking, and biking.
James E. Jordan (Jim) received his B.A. degree in Sacred Music from Florida Southern College, Lakeland, in 1980, majoring in organ and voice. He has studied organ under Mrs. Doris Brinson, Dr. Bennett Penn, and Miss Janice Van Otterloo, and piano under Paula Parsché and Dr. Rita Fandrich. Jim has taught piano and voice at Polk State College as an adjunct professor for several years, and after 16 years at Polk State College as the Director/Manager of Systems and Programming, he now is the Technical Project Manager at Florida Polytechnic University, Florida’s only university focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines. Jim is a native Floridian, and currently lives in Fort Meade, Florida.